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Author Topic: Mach 3 CNC Convention (Feb 23-24 Knoxville)  (Read 8190 times)

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Offline TT350

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Re: Mach 3 CNC Convention (Feb 23-24 Knoxville)
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2008, 06:18:55 PM »
I just checked in to my hotel, can't wate!!!

Offline poppabear

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Re: Mach 3 CNC Convention (Feb 23-24 Knoxville)
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2008, 08:26:03 PM »
convetion going well, about 80 or so people............ really tired since I was the only speaker today, all day.............

Meet lots of really cool people.

scott
Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/
Re: Mach 3 CNC Convention (Feb 23-24 Knoxville)
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2008, 09:15:42 PM »
scott
great job today. Awesome job on the screen4/3 teaching. best part of the day.

Offline poppabear

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Re: Mach 3 CNC Convention (Feb 23-24 Knoxville)
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2008, 11:04:20 AM »
Well,

     The convention was a BIG HIT, But it was very tiring for me and probably many of the participants who flew or drove many hours and had to go back.
We had a Turn out far more than we had planned, we had about 60 registerants and about 20 walkins......

Being that it was the first one of its type, we have some work to do to make it even more enjoyable next year. We had a WIDE range of participants form guys that had never heard of Mach, to one guy who had been a programmer for over 30 years, and all levels in between.

According to the Feed Back we will do this again next year, but add in the changes based on the feed back Pros and Cons. I only had 12 feed back forms to go buy since no more where turned in than that.

Pros and Cons and the proposed fixes:

The Biggest Complaint was, we need TWO classes running at the same time, one guy teaching absolute basics and another teaching the more advanced stuff.  I will see If I can get
"Hill Billy" or someone else to teach the basic class of how to get a machine moving with Mach, G-code, Wiring, and basic functional use.

Space was Maxed out, so next year we will go to a larger "Convention Hall", in which we will have alot more wall plugs, and room to hang TWO Large projectors, one for what is happening on the computer, and one that shows what is happening on the Hardware Breakout boards and example stuff. I will see if I can get tables for laptops to sit on.

The price will be raised to 200.00 for the whole weekend to cover the larger place above and extra staff.

Most of the classes needed more time per subject so, since we will break it up, this will allow the subjects to be extended with some "Hands on" examples.

Hands ON:  This was a biggie, so next year we will plan on providing examples of purpose built screens, board wiring, motor tuning, and a Wizard that the class will participate in the build.

PLC: Programming with ADC, No one brought a PLC to follow along (although a few had the ADC software), since you cant use the software with out a PLC. I think I wll drop this and just show some quick view of the ladder and mostly how they work with mach on the modbus.  Or, perhaps have an Optional signup class for Advanced users who want to do PLC interfacing with Mach3.  (This class will assume you already know how to program a PLC since there is not near enough time to teach that).

Some people complained they wanted to see something cut, we did cut some machinable wax, as the last class on sunday, but some people who had long drives had left prior to that. I guess we will move the Part cutting with Mach to the Basic Class and do a demo on Saterday so people can see.

Vendors:

ArtSoft: Generously provided 3 lic. to give away, which of course was a huge hit.

Vectric: Alot of people responded and bragged, and bragged on "Tony" of Vectric, so next year I will see if we can put him in a longer time slot and provide him with a simple machine that he can cut some foam or something to show his software in action with Mach........  I think the number of software copies that he sold on this trip more than made up for his trip over here to put up with us "Yanks"......... as he said, "Bloody H*ll"........hehehehe.

Mad Cam:  He put on a good presentation also, unfortunatly only 2 users where using Rhino, so hopefully more people will buy some Rhino and consider his software as well. I really like the fact that they will be releasing some 4th and 5th axis capabilities soon.  I use Rhino, so when that becomes available, I will definatly try it out.

TEA:  Amy of TEA was fantastic, she gave away lots of super cool hardware for machines, TEA products are perfect for the kind of machine that the participants were building!

Digital Machinist Magazine: They gererously sent piles of Magazines (the one with Arnie Miners Camera article in it), everyone of them was GONE!! This is a well done Mag, great articles, and targeted directly at our participants.

Arnie Miner "ZarZul": His products "the digital probe with optional tool setter" and "Mach Camera" Where a MASSIVE, MASSIVE hit, his stuff was gone as soon as I showed it, he sent 60 or so brochures and they where all gone, I had to keep one back so people could get his site. NO ONE, could figure out how he could make such cool and well made products for the price he was selling it for. I would have expected to pay 4-500.00 for his probe! His Camara and Brians Vidio Plug-in blew everyone away.

Machinable Wax: Everyone LOVED this stuff, it was a joy to work with. We cut out a 1/2 hiegth Torus (dognut) in 3D, with a mach machine.
This stuff was awesome to use. I will definatly be getting some more of it for my shop. We had several die makers there who said they will be getting this stuff in bulk. One Jewlery maker in Canada really Flipped out over it. I highly recommend you guys try this stuff. This company was super generous, they gave one Sample box to every participant, and it was several nice sized piecies you could do stuff with!!!!!

CNC4PC:  Alot of users now want Arturos Mod-bus boards, and his super cool 6 axis pendant.

Special Thanks to:

Chris Scott, this man made this convention the best it could be given our location and resources. His vast experience in doing events was clearly evident every step of the way. With out a dougbt the convention would have NOT been possible with out him. He brought a PA system which saved my voice, and did all the print out, and other Management/Flow issues, it was truely amazing the amount of things that he did, that I didnt ever realize that NEEDED to be done.........  Thank You Chris.

Jason "Grand Master Flash" Blake, (also known as "Zealous" on this board"): He put on a Awesome Flash class showing his NEW "Drag and Drop" Flash Screen for Mach Screens. This was a Huge hit.  There really is no practicle limit of the things you can do with Flash for Mach. Really looking forward to the release of his Flash IDE "Screen 5?"...hehehehe

Wade Davenport of "Leasure Craft" in Crossville, TN: His company generously provided Lunch on Sunday for all participants, so if you guys need the Best Pontoon boat or custom plastic objects on the planet call this guy.

Greatchin, of Digital Machinist Mag, and Amy of TEA, who both helped sponsor our Ads in the Magazine as well as on the cnczone forums. Also to Paul of CNCzone who helped get our ad placed well.

Aurturo Duncan of CNC4PC who helped sponsor our website, AND, provided the M1, M11, M12 and 6 Axis MPG Pendant to demo at the class. He also provided some break out boards, and other odds and ends.

The Participants:  My thanks to all who came and allowing us the priveledge of getting to know you. I met alot of interesting people from all walks of life. It was interesting the questions that came up about this or that. There really wasnt enough time in the day, to answer it all.  Like I said this was our 1st one (and my 1st one as well), but now we got a handle on how things need to be timed, and how participants would like to see things covered. There was also a HUGE amount of networking going on, many people there where Buizness owners, or OEMs that found others that had stuff they needed or vice versa. So all in all, it was really great to meet all these wonderful people.

Regards,

Scott "Poppa Bear" Shafer
S S Systems, LLC


Commercial Mach3 & Mach 4, Design/Build/Retrofit CNC and Industrial machines.
http://www.ss-systems-llc.com/

Offline GPDC

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Re: Mach 3 CNC Convention (Feb 23-24 Knoxville)
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2008, 05:25:57 PM »
Scott,
    You did an EXTREMELY GOOD job @ hosting/MC'ing/controlling this whole thing and I thank you for that....you get large attaboys from this kid for all that you made possible...from reading your post above, you've already got 99% of the improvements that I could think of covered (read: MORE HANDS ON! stuff)....see ya next year....let me be the first to volunteer a machine for whatever you want to do with it for next year (maybe some practical apps for modbus?) ....GPDC